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  • Feds to Slaughter Meat Industry with Its Greenwashing Claims

Feds to Slaughter Meat Industry with Its Greenwashing Claims

William L. Kovacs

April 2024

Feds to Slaughter Meat Industry with Its Greenwashing Claims

Our largest corporations foolishly relish greenwashing the products they sell to Americans. “[G]reenwashing…unsubstantiated claim[s] to deceive consumers into believing that a company’s products are environmentally friendly…” Since there has been little risk of liability for making such claims, corporations vigorously worked to ingratiate themselves with the government and its environmental collaborators in hope of securing government benefits and protection from environmental advocates. Now government and environmental groups will use corporate greenwashing claims against industry. The fossil fuel industry was the first target, meat is the second.

The federal government and its paid environmental activists are rolling out a scheme to combat climate change by telling Americans to “eat no meat, it is destroying the earth.” These environmental activists argue that by banning all animal agriculture in 15 years, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 68%. This reduction will “pause the rise of greenhouse gases warming the planet until 2060.”

The federal government and the environmental community are launching a multi-front attack, that if successful, will destroy the industry.

On March 6, 2024, the Federal Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) finalized its 875-page rule to “Enhance and Standardize Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors.” While the rule has an effective date of May 28, 2024 the SEC agreed to pause the effective date until final court review. Industry views the pause as a sign the SEC fears court review. The pause, however, is a brilliant legal strategy that avoids years of litigation over dozens of procedural delay motions. The pause lets the court address the validity of the rule immediately.

The SEC rule requires publicly traded companies, called “registrants,” to provide standardized climate-related information in all reported materials, including how they will address severe weather-related events. Corporations will also have to report (guess) how they will address future changes in government climate policies and report all climate-related spending and mitigation efforts to comply with future government regulations.

The several hundred corporations promising to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from human activity by 2040 should be very worried. Corporations will have to state their climate-related targets and the actions they will take to meet those targets. Essentially, all environmental claims must be supported by actions sufficient to achieve the reported goal, or the corporation will be subject to liability. About 90% of companies in the Russell 1000 Index are captured by this regulation.

The meat and dairy industries are now the tip of the spear.

The meat and dairy industries have been criticized for greenwashing their environmental commitments for years. Environmental groups highlight the hypocrisy of an industry that claims it will achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases by 2040 while planning massive increases of cattle to meet worldwide demand for meat. The environmentalists are targeting the world’s largest meat factories: JBS, Tyson, Danish Crown, Nestle, Danone, Arla, and Fonterra.

Environmental activists point out that the emissions from the top five meat and dairy companies combined exceed those of Exxon, Shell, and BP. These cattle companies used the “net-zero promises” to promote their “greenness” while increasing their greenhouse emissions. The SEC rule and environmentalists have called the meat industry’s greenwashing bluff.

Progressive states will help the SEC achieve enforcement.

Every failure to meet an environmental promise will likely subject companies to liability. Governments and environmental activists will file lawsuits for greenwashing deceit using the information the meat industry provides the SEC. Even specious lawsuits are expensive to defend.

Already, New York has used Executive Law Section 63(12) against one of the world’s largest meatpackers for fraudulent environmental claims.

New York alleges that the meatpacker deceived consumers and seeks $5,000 a day for each violation. Will the judgement sought be based the harm caused by the meatpacker’s actions, or the number of people eating meat? Think of the $454 million judgment against Trump rendered under the same law without any proof of harm or accepted method of calculating harm.

Bring in the class action lawyers.

Until the SEC rule, it was difficult to establish that raising cattle harmed the planet. Linking corporate actions to climate harm is an almost impossible task. With the SEC rule, proof of causation (cattle cause climate change) is unnecessary. All that is needed to establish liability under the SEC regulation, or the New York law, is proof the meat producer failed to meet its environmental commitments. The SEC will provide state attorneys general and class action lawyers with all the information needed on a silver platter. Securing liability will be as simple as “Environmental promise made; environmental promise broken.” Proof of environmental harm is irrelevant.

There is a long-list of class action law-suits costing industry hundreds of billions in damages, e.g.; Asbestos, Round-Up, Tobacco. Almost 325 million Americans eat meat. What is the value of that lawsuit?

EPA jumps on the attack beef crusade.

In December 2023 the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) entered into a “Sue and Settle agreement” with environmental groups to secretly require the meat industry “to spend whatever cost is necessary to meet effluent limits regardless of the benefits to water quality.” The meat industry was precluded from a settlement in which the EPA accepted as fact a non-peered review study by the environmental group suing the agency. Moreover, the industry did not see EPA’s proposed rule until it was publicly released in early 2024. “EPA quotes the study more than 20 times in the proposed rule…” Moreover, by limiting the industry to a 60-day review period, the meat industry will not have sufficient time to analyze the validity of the data used to justify the rule. How much government regulation and litigation can the meat industry take and remain in business?

How it all ends.

Corporations need to make products they are proud to sell and people want. When corporations advertise their products and operations as something they are not, they open themselves to attack. Corporations must appreciate that environmental activists and government regulators are not their allies, no matter how much a corporation promises to “save the planet.” Environmental activists seek to eliminate humans from the earth; just read their own words. To achieve this goal, they must first eliminate the products and foods humans need to survive. Once corporations appreciate this reality, they will be better able to justify that their products are a benefit to people by producing a comfortable life.

Greenwashing claims give government and environmental advocates the excuse needed to take industry’s products off the market.

William L. Kovacs author of Devolution of Power: Rolling Back the Federal State to Preserve the Republic. His previous book Reform the Kakistocracy received the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. He served as senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and chief counsel to a congressional committee. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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  • Climate Skeptics Win by Revealing Costs Not Disputing Science

Climate Skeptics Win by Revealing Costs Not Disputing Science

William L. Kovacs

December 2023

Climate Skeptics Win by Revealing Costs Not Disputing Science

(Part II of III parts) 

Part I discussed how the Progressive Left transitioned their climate strategy from one of oppressive regulations during the Obama administration to giving away massive amounts of money during the Biden administration. This policy change made all the difference in gaining general support from the American business community for the uncontrolled development of green technology. If the climate skeptics are to compete for public support, they must change their strategy from scientific studies that are largely unread to a clear presentation of the real costs of green technology to the general public.

Winston Churchill provided the world with sage advice on how to understand politics when he stated, “I no longer listen to what people say, I just watch what they do. Behavior never lies.” It’s time for the climate skeptics to transition from discussing scientific flaws in the Progressive’s climate policy to implementing a strategy that focuses on what changes the public’s behavior. To undertake this approach, the skeptics must recognize:

(1) their real opponent, in addition to the federal government, is now the American business community;

(2) the American people believe climate change is occurring; however, they are not willing to pay for costly climate change policies or bear the burden of hosting the massive facilities in their communities and

(3) the competitive market still works; skeptics must aggressively use it to defeat unprofitable projects before they harm the nation.

Adopting this approach requires the climate skeptics to lay bare the values of the American business community. Business is agnostic on principles. It does not care if our government is capitalist or socialist or a deep-state faux Republic. Business follows the money no matter who is giving it out, the federal government or the Chinese Communist Party that provides subsidized slave labor to U.S. businesses. Trillions flow from the government to corporations to produce what the government wants to be made and purchased, notwithstanding the costs to its citizens or the effect on a functioning society. Climate change is merely the vehicle the federal government uses to buy support to control society.

Understanding the greed of American businesses explains why automakers make more electric vehicles than they can sell, even when faced with significant losses such as Ford’s Mustang Mach E and its F-150 lightning. Subsidies explain why American businesses make lightbulbs, dishwashers, air conditioners, low-flush toilets, and dozens of other products that perform less effectively than older products and are considerably more expensive. It’s money, money, money that makes business go round.

As part of the federal global warming misinformation campaign that supports its green agenda, numerous federally funded groups reviewed 88,125 climate studies. Amazingly, more than 99.9 % supported the proposition that humans cause climate change. Unfortunately, few studies release the underlying data for peer review and reproducibility. Moreover, the federal government refuses to implement the Information Quality Act. Such refusals mean the federal government and its climate supporters can misinform the public about its science.

The climate skeptics cannot compete with the federal government’s propaganda machine and the greed of big business. A new approach is needed since the climate skeptics cannot give up and move to Galt’s Gulch.

Taxpayer support stops when they have to pay for or live with the consequences of government policies.

71% of Americans believe climate change is occurring and caused entirely or mainly by human activity. Gallup found that 80% of Americans believe they understand global warming very well or fairly well, and 58% want policies that dramatically reduce fossil fuels within 10 – 20 years. Yet, while firmly believing that human activity causes climate change, a Reuter poll found that only one-third of Americans would spend $100 a year to address it. Americans clearly do not understand they are already paying handsomely for the federal government’s green tech follies.

The adage “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!” seems to be the prevailing American philosophy for addressing climate change.

Americans do not want to pay to address climate change and do not want the green energy facilities in their backyards. The “Renewable Rejection Database” proves this point. Between 2015 and 2023, 435 communities in the U.S. rejected or restricted big wind projects. The solar industry has seen local communities reject 173 big projects since 2021. The reasons are too much land utilized, noise, sleep disturbance, red-blinking lights all night, too ugly, conflicts with community growth plans, reduced food production, and fear of depreciating land values.

Markets still work, so the skeptics must find ways to allow them to work.

While the American business community loves free money from the government, it still hates losing money. Even with trillions in subsidies, an increasing number of wind and solar projects across the nation are running into problems that harm the economics of the projects. Thousands of these projects need help connecting to local power grids that might need more extensive power lines and new transformers. The high cost of these upgrades translates into canceled projects.

Other projects are abandoned due to a lack of credit. While the government shovels subsidies to green industries, many banks won’t extend the additional needed credit to complete construction because of a facility’s poor balance sheet. A cancellation of wind farms in New Jersey is a recent example. Orsted, a sizeable Danish wind farm developer, dropped two mega-projects offshore due to $4 billion in cost overruns.

The Wall Street Journal noted offshore wind power is “bleeding cash.” Today, offshore wind project costs are 49% more than in 2019. About  60% of all offshore wind projects awarded have been canceled or are at risk of cancellation.

The Li-Cycle battery recycling facility’s initial construction cost was $ 700 million. Today, its completion cost is estimated at $ 1 billion, a price so significant that it likely will force the federal government to honor its loan guarantees if the project is to be completed.

Overall, the green industry is in the proverbial toilet. The Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) woke investment funds, the baskets holding the industry’s stock for consumers to invest in, are having their worst year since 2011. The green industry is not a good investment. Over time, many of these government monuments to green technology will be abandoned across the national landscape, creating more of a drain on the treasury and local communities as they litter the nation with hazardous waste.

For the climate skeptics to bring sanity back to the climate change debate, they need to clearly explain to the American people the significant costs the government is imposing on them to implement its climate agenda.

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, chairman of a state environmental board, and a partner in law D.C. law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy received the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. Kovacs also led the business coalition’s lobbying activities against Obama’s legislative climate proposals. He can be contacted at [email protected].

Part I. Memo to Climate Skeptics: You’re Losing, Change Strategies

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Memo to Climate Skeptics: You’re Losing, Change Strategies

Memo to Climate Skeptics: You’re Losing, Change Strategies

William L. Kovacs

December 2023

Memo to Climate Skeptics: You’re Losing, Change Strategies

(Part I of III parts)

As 90,000 corporate and environmental elites land their private planes in Dubai to be exquisitely wined and dined at the UN Climate Conference (“COP 28”) from November 30 to December 12, 2023, they will be demanding more reductions in fossil fuels and trillions more dollars for whatever controls they want to impose on humanity. Their newest demand is no more cows, no more meat. This is on top of restrictions on thousands of products. Twenty-eight years of COP parties demonstrate the persistence of the movement to shut down human progress. Those opposing this insanity argue the facts, science, and common sense. These are useless arguments in a world where tweets, influencers, money, and misinformation rule. It is time to challenge this brave new world of hypocrites at its source of power.

The Progressive Left is winning the climate war it should be losing.

Those skeptical (“climate skeptics”) of the Progressive Left’s claim that the world is coming to an end due to manmade greenhouse gas emissions are a dwindling group. They are fighting the good fight with few supporters and little financial assistance. To prevail, the skeptics need to gain visible support from common-sense citizens who are unwittingly impacted by the increased costs of green technology. To achieve this feat, climate skeptics should move away from their current lobbying strategy that relies on well-documented science and technology briefing papers that discuss the technical inadequacies of the green agenda and focus on the adverse economic and community impacts of the Biden administration’s policies.

The transition from regulatory oppression to costly giveaways.

The Progressive Left’s change in its climate lobbying strategy between the Obama and Biden administrations illustrates why the Progressive Left is winning the climate fight to limit fossil fuels to “stop the rise of the oceans.”  While both administrations initiated aggressive attacks on the use of fossil fuels, their strategies are radically different. Obama went the traditional route of complex legislation to regulate most industries in the economy. The Biden administration gives away lots of money, which makes all the difference.

The climate skeptics in 2008-2016 organized the business community and used data in eye-catching, easy to understand charts to illustrate the complexity, costs and burdens of Obama’s legislative and regulatory agenda on business and citizens. By explaining how business, jobs, citizens, and communities were adversely impacted, the skeptics defeated Obama’s major proposals in Congress, even in years when Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress.

The Biden administration changed strategies in 2021. It recognized giving away taxpayer money is a proven path to the heart of the business community. Giving away money for a “public purpose” is also unreviewable by the courts. As such, it is easier for spending legislation to pass. Moreover, it also avoids a regulatory conflict with industry, as happened to Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Using giveaways, Biden enacted the Inflation Reduction Act (“IRA”) to build more green technology than can be absorbed by the grid or afforded by consumers. Additionally, by placing such a massive amount of green technology into the economy, Biden makes reversing his policies very difficult.

Beginning in 2021, climate skeptics challenged Biden’s climate agenda by developing excellent policy papers explaining the technological flaws in achieving zero emissions with green technology. Unfortunately, for the climate skeptics, business prefers subsidies over well-reasoned technical reports that might upset their gravy train., Moreover, most common-sense citizens do not read technical policy papers, nor are they persuaded by them.

American business is Congress’ Pavlov’s dog, and tax credits are its treats.

With a massive national debt approaching $34 trillion and annual combined deficits and interest payments approaching $2 trillion, Congress fails to understand how it is wasting the taxpayer’s money. Worse, when it spends by enacting tax expenditures, it has no control over how much is wasted.

Tax expenditures are defined by law as “revenue losses attributable to provisions of the Federal Tax laws which allow a special exclusion, exemption, or deduction from gross income or which provide a special credit, a preferential rate of tax, or a deferral of tax liabilities.” When Congress enacts these expenditures, it creates public policy by changing behavior, i.e., rewarding corporations that do what the government wants done. It transforms American businesses from defenders of competitive markets into the government’s Pavlov dog. The government offers a treat, and business gets rewarded if it does what Congress wants done.

Unlike policy determinations that must be authorized and subsequently funded by Congress, tax expenditures are not viewed as direct spending programs since Congress places them outside of the budget process. As such, they are an unlimited charge on the federal treasury since anyone who conforms to the government’s desires gets credits that reduce their income tax. For example, taxpayers purchasing an electric vehicle can receive up to $7,500 in credits to reduce their federal income taxes.

Additionally, the IRA includes a $ 400 billion loan guarantee fund that allows green energy developers to secure lower interest rates on loans that the federal government guarantees in case of default. These unfunded liabilities are also off budget.

The cost of dog treats is expensive.

The IRA gives tax credits for activities legislatively deemed to reduce emissions causing climate change. Those activities include battery storage, energy efficiency, residential green energy, hydrogen, carbon capture, solar and wind generation, and electric vehicles. The Congressional Budget Office (“CBO”) initially estimated these tax credits would cost the treasury $391 billion between 2022 and 2031.

The IRA tax credits for anything “green” incentivized more pigs to show up at the trough than CBO estimated. Within months after the program started, Goldman Sachs raised its estimated cost of the credits to $1.2 trillion for the same period. The original forecast missed the cost of the credits for electric vehicles by $379 billion; energy manufacturing, $156 billion; renewable electricity production, $82 billion; energy efficiency, $42 billion; hydrogen, $36 billion; biofuels, $34 billion; and carbon capture, $31 billion.

These federal tax credits create few jobs. “Total [cost for each green job created] range from $ 2 to $ 7 million per job.” Unfortunately, the jobs created will have an average annual wage of $45,000. Where have all the billions gone? Into corporate pockets everywhere!

Tax credits are only one type of government gift. The tax code is stuffed with over 2000 subsidy [gift] programs. Companies that receive the gifts are given a competitive advantage over non-recipients in the market. Farming is an excellent example. The federal government distributes $30 billion a year in subsidies to the farm industry. “The largest 15 percent of the farm businesses receive 85 percent of the total farm subsidies.”

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that in 2019, IRS tax expenditures carried a value of $1.3 trillion for the recipients. Additionally, the IRA tax credit adds another $1.2 trillion. None of these $2.5 trillion tax credits is part of the appropriations process. No wonder Congress cannot control spending. These same companies also received $3.5 trillion in subsidies in 2020 from state and local governments.

As long as green technology is infused with unlimited tax credits, businesses will take the credits until the government stops giving them or the project suffers losses the government will not cover. It is up to the skeptics to educate the public on these costs.

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, chairman of a state environmental board, and a partner in law D.C. law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy received the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. Kovacs also led the business coalition’s lobbying activities against Obama’s legislative climate proposals. He can be contacted at [email protected].

 

 

 

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  • The Climate Change Frenzy Is a Mass Hysteria Movement

The Climate Change Frenzy Is a Mass Hysteria Movement

William L. Kovacs

June 2023

The Climate Change Frenzy Is a Mass Hysteria Movement

Since the Biden administration promised to eliminate all fossil fuels, climate change activists have transitioned from seeking to use the government to control society into a collective group possessed by an illusion based on excessive fear that climate change is destroying the planet. This climate collective believes that by dismantling society, the government can prevent the end of the world.

Researchers refer to such collective fears as mass hysteria. They consider it a psychogenic illness, “a condition that begins in the mind rather than the body.” It exposes itself when a group of people start feeling anxious, sick, or crazed at the same time, notwithstanding the absence of any physical reason for their condition.

A recent The Lancet study of 10,000 young people, ages 16 – 25, found that 59% were extremely worried about climate change; 84% were at least moderately worried. The respondents suffered from sadness, anxiety, and anger and felt powerless, helpless, and guilty. The authors conclude that climate anxiety is so great these young people believe humanity is doomed, all they value is being destroyed, and they are hesitant to have children. Illustrating the impact of climate hysteria is the belief by the young people that government could protect them if it would listen to their feelings, validate and respect them, and implement their views, i.e., do what they demand.

Episodes of mass hysteria have been recorded since the Middle Ages. There have been Witch trials, dancing plagues in which the participants could not stop dancing until they were so tired, they died, and screaming trances. In modern political times, there was the Red Scare hysteria over the perceived threat of communism. Before the Covid pandemic, there was the Y2K hysteria over the belief that when clocks struck midnight on January 1, 2000, all computer systems would fail to recognize the year, and society would collapse due to massive electrical outages.

Influencing today’s climate collective is a federal government and media that pound into the heads of these young people that society’s use of fossil fuels causes every problem in the world. If an area of the world is too hot or cold, it’s climate change. Forest fires, storms, floods, and draughts are due to climate change. The oceans are getting warmer, species are dying, and humanity faces more health risks due to climate change. Climate change even causes poverty. The fact that the earth is much cleaner today than a century ago is irrelevant to those possessed by climate hysteria.

Pulling together these desperate report findings is a recent National Institutes of Health study on “Covid-19 and the Political Economy of Mass Hysteria. While the study focused on how the political system and social media negatively impacted the public mind during the Covid pandemic, its findings apply to situations in which large segments of a population believe, without any injury, they are continuously exposed to dangerous conditions.

The authors of the NIH study describe mass hysteria as “a large group of people get[ting] collectively very upset” by negative information. “This threat [negative information] evokes fear and spreads in society. Symptoms can also spread.” This spread of emotions and anxiety through impacted groups is called “contagion,”

Once an infected group is in a state of mass hysteria, the government can “impose measures on the rest of the population, inflicting almost unrestricted harm,” including abrogating civil liberties. The authors describe how the federal government used lockdowns and distancing to decrease psychological resistance and create greater hysteria. The government’s actions, combined with news agencies and social media, promoted massive negative news campaigns that deteriorated psychic health by intentionally scaring those in the already anxious population.

The authors conclude that the combination of a big government that eliminates information that competes with its desired narrative and the negative information spread by social media make society more prone to the development of mass hysteria.

The Biden administration uses climate change to create the anxiety that causes mass hysteria. President Biden regularly informs the public that “Climate change is the existential threat to humanity…Unchecked, it is going to actually bake this planet. This is not hyperbole. It’s real.”

Biden emphasizes a “Whole-of-government-approach” to climate change is mandatory since it touches every aspect of society and all things made by society.

By implementing a whole of government approach, Biden makes climate change the top federal priority. Policy changes are made in every aspect of governing to address climate change, including new taxes, zero-emission cars, regulating hundreds of appliances, the electrical grid, power plants, mining, oil production, manufacturing generally, and international relations. Biden’s message to these young people is that climate change is so harmful every aspect of society must be regulated to save the planet. Unfortunately, the Lancet study finds the anxiety is so deep the government’s whole-of-government response is insufficient.

The media follows its climate change narrative as a means of ingratiating itself with the government. By November 2021, U.S. news coverage of climate change reached an all-time high. Key to the coverage increase was a change in describing it from global warming to “more intense words and phrases to describe the phenomenon, such as “climate catastrophe” and “climate emergency.” These new terms were then incorporated into the tacking algorithms to increase term coverage by 50%. As an expert noted, “Our [that] language helps describe the realities of our [the climate collectivists] world.”

Within two years, the Biden administration created a deep-rooted mass hysteria about climate change among young adults. The anxiety is so great there is nothing the government can do short of shutting down society to ease their pain. Biden’s quest for power and its media partners in deception has created a widespread mental health crisis within the population segment that will soon be some of the leaders in the United States. Intentionally creating hysteria in a nation is not responsible governing or reporting.

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law D.C. law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. He can be contacted at [email protected]

 

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  • Personal Carbon Allowances: Enviros’ Unified Theory of Control

Personal Carbon Allowances: Enviros’ Unified Theory of Control

William L. Kovacs

March 2023

Personal Carbon Allowances: Enviros’ Unified Theory of Control

For decades environmental think tanks have been developing a theory called Personal Carbon Allowances (“PCA”). It is a unified Marxist style theory that seeks to use government to control the asserted destructive impacts of capitalism, such as climate change, poverty, and the lack of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (“DEI”). A recent report in Nature Sustainability writes, “A PCA scheme would entail all adults receiving an equal, tradable, carbon allowance that reduces over time in line with national targets.” Individuals not needing their carbon allowances could sell them to those willing to pay for a more carbon intense lifestyle.

The goal of a PCA is to develop “a just and equitable transition to a net-zero society,” in which the social norm is low-carbon behavior. PCAs would encompass economy-wide emissions. PCAs’ endpoint is to redistribute wealth by making low-income households winners and high-income households losers.

The environmental community never believed PCA would be publicly accepted until the Covid pandemic. Environmentalists realized during the pandemic, the public accepted individual restrictions for the sake of public health, something unthinkable only one year before.

Big business, banking, academia, and the super-rich (“the Woke Coalition” or “TWC”) realized that if they supported the environmental and social movements, those groups would support their efforts to rob the proverbial bank; the federal government.

Environmentalists’ and the TWC persuaded the federal government to authorize $370 billion in subsidies for green technologies and dramatically stymie the nation’s fossil fuels industry. These activities are in addition to federal regulations imposing energy efficiency requirements on at least sixty products and $577 billion in subsidies for green technology since 2004.

While the TWC members joyously swim in government benefits, they do not grasp the environmentalists’ end game is to reorder society by redistributing all wealth to make everyone equal. This equitable correction of wealth inequality will be administered to create a deliberate imbalance in favor of marginalized groups.

PCA is not Marxism which is about changing the ownership of the means of production. PCA is about eliminating the means of production. Moreover, their direct quotes contained in The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic advocate for the massive reduction of the human race.

Phase I limit human behavior.

The Climate and Community Project at the University of California, Davis, issued a study describing how to achieve nirvana. It proposes reducing the use of cars, even in the suburbs, by forcing high-density urban living on all people. Transportation would be bicycling, walking, and building mass transportation everywhere. Almost everyone would live in a small apartment in a “livable neighborhood.” This plan would force the displacement of millions of rural Americans. Let’s call this “brilliant” idea “The Great Resettlement,” a softer label than a “21c. Trail of Tears.”

Phase II create a trading market

PCA will redistribute trillions of dollars through the buying and selling of allowances. Environmentalists understand success rests upon redistributing the wealth of the top 10% of society that generates one-half of all greenhouse gas emissions. While the environmentalists believe the wealthy must pay for the greenhouse gases that destroy the environment, TWC plays along for the generous government subsidies.

How the trading system might be structured.

The literature on PCAs describes many approaches. The final trading system will depend on. The U.S. generates 5 billion tons of CO2 annually, or 15.5 tons per person. On average, the bottom 50% of the income level emits 10.4 tons, the middle 40% emits 21.8 tons, and the top 10% emits 68.8 tons. The CO2 emissions of the wealthiest 1% could be in thousands of tons, depending on lifestyle.

Using these averages, the lower-income 50% of the U.S. population (61 million people) would each have 4.1 allowances to sell and still maintain their standard of living. Persons in the middle class, 40% of the population, would need to purchase 6.3 allowances to maintain their lifestyles. The top 10% of the wealthy would need to buy an additional 55.3 tons of allowances to maintain their lifestyles. In PCA, it appears there would not be sufficient allowances to provide the middle class and the wealthy all the allowances sought. CO2 reductions would begin even before the government wretches down the individual allocations.

In 2023 the U.S. poverty level is set at $14,680 for an individual. To achieve several goals, CO2 reduction, eliminating poverty, and fostering DEI, an initial allowance price of $4,000 per ton would lift tens of millions above the poverty level by selling their extra allowances to the middle and upper classes. Each poor person would receive approximately $16,400 from the sale of their 4.1 extra allowances.

The average middle-class person would have to purchase 6.3 allowances, a $25,200 purchase, to maintain status quo living. On average, a person in the top 10% would have to purchase $213,200 of additional allowances. The super-wealthy might need to buy thousands of allowances to keep their private jets, mansions, and global lifestyles. At $4,000 an allowance, the cost would be $ 4 million per year for 1000 allowances. A Bill Gates lifestyle is incalculable.

If the 1,760,941 individuals in the top 1% purchased, on average, 1000 allowances, they would be contributing $176 billion a year to eliminate poverty, foster equity, and dramatically reduce CO2 levels. The cost of the pollution allowances is a mere drop in the top 1%’s  $45.9 trillion proverbial wealth bucket.

As PCA reduces the economic activity that produces CO2, the government will have less revenue available for subsidies to TWC. Fewer subsidies for TWC will create an existential crisis concerning their survival. The environmentalists will be pleased with the economic decline since there would be fewer products produced and less CO2.  As TWC loses more of its customer base, its wealth and influence will proportionally diminish.

Paraphrasing Fyodor Dostoevsky, I sense vaguely that the TWC is going to pay dearly for supporting the environmental and social movements.

William L. Kovacs is the author of Reform the Kakistocracy, winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change, and, The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic. He is a former senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for Environment, Technology & Regulatory Affairs.

 

 

 

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  • Student Debt & Climate Change: Tyranny by National Emergency

Student Debt & Climate Change: Tyranny by National Emergency

William L. Kovacs

August 2022

Student Debt & Climate Change: Tyranny by National Emergency

The Biden administration is claiming Congress, by its enactment of national emergency statutes, has given the president the power to unilaterally control all aspects of life in America. A year ago, it locked down the country for Covid. In August, it forgave $600 billion of student debt. Next, it will regulate the entire economy in the name of climate change. Scary as these scenarios might be, Congress might have given the president these powers in its state of irrelevancy. If Congress does not revoke these emergency powers and reclaim its legislative authority, we are certain to live under tyranny. William L. Kovacs, The author

August 23, 2022, President Biden forgives $600 billion of student loan debt. His asserted authority is the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act (“HEROES”), which “authorizes” such power to address the financial harms caused by a national emergency. The continuing national emergency is COVID.

Biden is also contemplating the designation of climate change as a national emergency. If such a declaration is lawful, it would allow his administration to shut down the economy of the United States. Biden recently called climate change a “clear and present danger,” vowing to use unspecified executive powers to address it. The likely asserted authority will be the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”).

How can a president have such powers under our Constitution? There is a simple answer. Congress has granted many emergency powers to the Executive. And unfortunately, in a divided Congress, it cannot revoke them.

There are 126 laws passed by Congress authorizing the President to use so-called “national emergency powers.”  These laws allow U.S. Presidents to keep this nation in a perpetual national emergency. President Biden knows how to use these powers; Congress does not know how to reclaim them.

Since the start of his presidency, Biden has aggressively used emergency powers. He extended President Trump’s national emergency order indefinitely on the Covid pandemic. Relying upon emergency public health powers, Biden mandated that 84 million Americans subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Act either obtain a Covid-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing. Biden also used the emergency powers to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium to stem the spread of Covid.

With little discussion, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the mandatory employee Covid testing and eviction moratorium orders. However,  the Court in West Virginia v. EPA (“WVA v. EPA”), an administrative law case involving climate change, issued a groundbreaking ruling that will likely determine the legality of future Executive overreach, including future declarations of national emergency. EPA attempted to regulate climate change using obscure and vague provisions of the Clean Air Act. The court held EPA “were [was] asserting highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted.”

The holding in WVA v. EPA will likely subject future emergency declarations to more intense scrutiny as to congressional intent. Such scrutiny is essential. Student debt cancellation is a perfect example of manipulating language. By isolating every word of the HEROES Act, e.g., “wave” or “modify,”  and separating the words from its legislative history and historical context, the Biden administration justifies its loan forgiveness declaration. Biden’s argument is simple – Covid placed students in a worse financial condition.

Designating some “happening” a national emergency allows the President to spend additional money and circumvent restrictions that might be imposed by law.

By designating “climate change” an  emergency, Biden could order “…sweeping actions to restrain greenhouse gas production – such as banning U.S. crude oil exports, ending offshore drilling or speeding the manufacturing of electric vehicles.” Such actions could decimate world energy supplies and, likely, our economy.

These congressionally delegated emergency powers are so broad and vague they allow a U.S. president to suspend the Constitution until Congress either cuts off funding or the Supreme Court strikes down the emergency declaration.

While Congress has only one law designated “National Emergencies,” NYU’s Brennan Center identifies 136 laws that allow the President to declare a national emergency. Ninety-six of these laws require nothing more than the signature of the President on an emergency proclamation. Fifteen emergency laws have restrictions such as involving a specific subject matter or the need for armed forces. Only thirteen of these emergency laws require a congressional declaration of emergency.

These 136 emergency laws are part of a massive legal framework that contains over 3000 separate criminal offenses in 50 titles of the U.S. Code and 23,000 pages of federal law. That was the last count in 1980. More troublesome, the National Emergencies Act “…does not define what constitutes a national emergency.”

Without a  definition, the statutory meaning of the term must be determined by the common meaning found in a dictionary. Merriam Webster defines a national emergency as “a state of emergency (an unforeseen circumstance needing immediate action) resulting from a danger or threat of danger to a nation from foreign or domestic sources and usually declared to be in existence by a governmental authority.” Such a subjective definition is determined through the eye of the beholder.

The troubling use of recent declarations is that they were invoked with scant factual findings to support the government’s actions. The public health emergency law referenced a waiver of a liability law for those assisting the federal government to address Covid, i.e., protecting the pharmaceutical companies.

The only requirement to implement an emergency power is the President must specify the provision in any of the 136 laws under which he will act. The provision cited does not need to relate to the actions he takes. On this point, the decision in WVA v. EPA may change the outcome if the court forces the President to stay within the powers of the statute relied upon when declaring the emergency.

Congress must find a mechanism to terminate these emergency laws when they have served their purpose. Without such a mechanism, the emergency can be continued merely by the President issuing a declaration for it to continue. One option for terminating an emergency power is for Congress to terminate it by joint resolution. Since the President must sign joint resolutions, Congress needs a two-thirds majority to override a presidential veto. Without Congress being able to override a veto, these emergency powers are perpetual.

In addition to health emergencies, other powers available to the President include the ability to control airports, industrial facilities, and any device capable of emitting electromagnetic radiation, i.e., our communications system. The authority most used is IEEPA. It authorizes the President to invoke emergency powers relating to U.S. national security, foreign policy, or the economy, including financial and commercial transactions. The IEEPA has been invoked 55 times. Presidents can impose sanctions on individuals and countries, including freezing bank accounts and seizing assets. While the threat is required to be related to an activity in whole or part outside of the U.S., it is easy for a president to assert a foreign connection by claiming national security.

By enacting the National Emergencies Act and the 136 other statutes, Congress gives presidents the power to be a dictator at times of their choosing. There are only two practical ways to restrain a President’s use of emergency powers. The U.S. Supreme Court has demonstrated a willingness to curb the administrative state. Still, the legal process takes many years, and the outcome depends on the political leanings of the court.

A more powerful approach is for Congress to function as an independent check on the Executive, as envisioned in our Constitution. Unfortunately, as long as the members of Congress who are of the same party as the President serve as a president’s lapdogs, Congress is mostly irrelevant.

The only remaining viable option would arise when different political parties control the House and Senate. In this situation, the House of Congress, controlled by the party in opposition to the President’s party, could refuse to appropriate funding for the President’s power grab. Without both Houses of Congress agreeing to appropriate money for the emergency, the President has no means of paying for his power grab. In the final analysis, starving the dictator may be the only solution to save the Republic.

 

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice-president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law D.C. law firms, and his book Reform the Kakistocracy is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. His second book, The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic, is a collection of quotes from the Left on how to control society by eliminating capitalism, people, and truth.

This article was first published in “The Thinking Conservative,”  August 2022

 

 

 

 

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  • New Green Republics: Utopia or the Elites Inherit the Earth?

New Green Republics: Utopia or the Elites Inherit the Earth?

William L. Kovacs

August 2022

New Green Republics:  Utopia or the Elites Inherit the Earth?

As governments and their institutions, big business, financial institutions, environmental groups, and the radical left are consumed with anxiety over climate change, they seem to ignore every other issue confronting humanity. Or, is their use of climate change a false narrative to hide their real intent? The recent baffling actions by governments in Sri Lanka and the Netherlands point to the establishment of “New Green Republics.” The Biden administration is attempting to pursue a similar course.

Sri Lanka is an island nation off the coast of India. It had been rebuilding itself for decades after years of authoritarian rule. Its agriculture yield had so dramatically increased it had become a middle-income nation until its government banned the use of fertilizers for growing crops. The nation quickly became a nightmare with people starving, a third of its land dormant, crop yields cut in half, energy shortages and skyrocketing inflation. The people revolted.

At the same time, the Netherlands government announced plans to cut emissions of nitrogen and ammonia thereby forcing the closure of thousands of family farms. Another baffling move since Dutch farmers are the second largest food exporters in the world. The farmers launched protests similar to the Canadian truckers. The protests are ongoing.

Across the world, governments are seeking to ban new factory farms, pesticides, and even the use of pesticides on private property, beef, turkey, chicken, and cheese. Environmentalists are even organizing a revolution against factory-made food. To some, the entire food system is a threat to the environment.

Several commentators attribute Sri Lanka’s fall to its president’s “being under the spell of western green elites peddling organic agriculture and seeking a high ESG” (Environment, Social and Governance) rating. Sri Lanka has a near-perfect ESG score of 98. The U.S. has a 51, down with Cuba and Bulgaria. The Netherlands has a 90.7 ESG score.

These woke-type governments are choosing “climate and ESG goals at the expense of feeding their populations and enabling citizens to keep their homes warm during the winter.” These governments, including the Biden administration, seem to be under some type of a spell that blocks their use of common sense to work for the betterment of their people.

Unfortunately, for all who somehow give credence to ESG scores, they are like all other ranking efforts, subjective to the narrative to be achieved. An ESG score is defined as a numerical measure of how a corporation or country is perceived to be performing on a wide range of environmental, social, and governance topics. The operative word in the definition is “perceived.” How is the nation perceived? There is a gap between what is real and what is perceived. It’s simply a branding effort.  Moreover, for government ratings, an ESG rating “explains” how a nation’s risk factors impact the long-term sustainability of the economy, in addition to its debt.

This is where government decisions become baffling. Why would a country with a growing economy and high ESG rating intentionally ban pesticides and harm the economy and health of its people? Why would the Biden administration want to eliminate fossil fuels and the 6,000 essential products made from the components, to sabotage the living standards of most citizens?

These decisions simply do not make sense.

Decisions to throw a nation into turmoil actually conflict with the goal of ESG which is to help investors assess the sustainability of a country. A nation in chaos is not sustainable under any circumstances. These arbitrary decisions more closely resemble decisions made by Caligula, the Roman emperor who gave his horse a majestic house and, to prove his absolute power, sought to appoint the horse to the high office of consul, before being assassinated.

A “spell” to protect the environment should cause the bewitched ruler to protect the environment; whereas destroying the means to produce food or energy, the ruler is forcing the nation into chaos, perhaps revolution. Both outcomes would destroy the environment. There must be a more existential reason.  Either it is a drive to form a utopia, or it’s the implementation of the long-held belief of the radical environmental community that humanity is a cancer on the earth, and must go.

Finding utopia has been a dream of philosophers for centuries. Their dreams are structured around a beneficial elite; religious dogma, science, machine rule, communism, or totalitarianism. Perhaps the elite would retry one of these worn-out systems, but it is almost impossible to keep seven billion people down on the farm after they had some exposure to freedom, food, and energy.

If the ruler takes the utopian path, it would have to take the path described by some as the “Great Reset.”  ESG would become a “social credit system to drive ownership and production away from the non-woke or non-compliant.” It is a system in which profitable monopolies and the state rule by controlling big data, artificial intelligence, genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics. Humans would only know what the elite allow them to know. All human thought would be transferred to the elite. The human mind would be in an “inescapable prison. “The major problem with the utopian model is the difficulty of feeding seven billion humans. The elite would have to develop a massive food production system which would be extremely expensive, especially with bans on many foods. It would literally require the enslavement of much of the population. Since the cost of all living in utopia is too high, the elite need an easier plan to implement.

Plan B, is the plan the radical community has written about for a century, the mass reduction of humans. The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic is a collection of quotations from the radical left that supports this view in their own words.

The famous undersea explorer, Jacque-Yves-Cousteau noted “It’s terrible to have to say this. The world population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable.”

One of the wishes of Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh, President of the World Wildlife Fund International was “If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” And, our college-age students are being taught that government must focus on reducing the world population by at least 80%.

Perhaps the most honest discussion of humans being cancer on the earth is presented in a 2019 essay in Culturico, a Swiss Cultural platform that bills itself as fighting misinformation.  Culturico compares humans to cancer cells. The environment is our host and the selfish, harmful actions of humans are destroying the host, just as a tumor would destroy living organisms in our body. The platform goes through the five steps of how tumors spread cancer. The essay ends with the question, “Can we conclude that humans are a cancer? Yes, we are.”

If the environmental community believes its own writings, and there is no reason to doubt its beliefs, its long-term goal is to radically reduce the human population on this planet. So, the next time some ruler, be it president, minister, or chief, performs a baffling act that harms a large number of people for some inexplicable reason, ask yourself what the rulers’ real intentions are. The ruler may be stupid, evil, or power-hungry but the ruler may be following the elite’s playbook of wanting humans gone so the elite can inhabit the earth without us cancer cells threatening their reign of the planet.

 

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice-president for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law D.C. law firms, and his book Reform the Kakistocracy is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. His second book, The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic is a collection of quotes from the Left on how to control society by eliminating capitalism, people, and truth.

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  • Free from EPA’s Climate Change Terror

Free from EPA’s Climate Change Terror

William L. Kovacs

July 2022

Free from EPA’s Climate Change Terror

On June 30, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ended twenty years of efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and environmental groups, (jointly “the environmental community”) to use the vague language in numerous environmental laws to regulate almost every aspect of life in the United States. Upon reading the U.S. Supreme Court’s groundbreaking opinion in West Virginia vs Environmental Protection Agency  (“West Virginia case”), I could only think of the words of Martin Luther King, “Free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last” from the environmental community’s reign of regulatory terror.

The West Virginia case involved EPA’s use of the “vague language of a long-extant, but rarely used, statute” as authority to regulate major economic and political issues without congressional authorization. Specifically, EPA was relying on section 111 of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) to impose a cap-and-trade scheme for carbon emissions on the utility industry. The Supreme Court could have easily resolved the controversy over EPA’s “new found authority” by applying the rules of statutory construction. Such a ruling would have been very narrow. Even if the court ruled against EPA, the narrowness of the ruling would have permitted EPA to propose many more such schemes using different “new found powers.” Fortunately, however, the court recognized the issue was more than a power-hungry EPA, it was a power-hungry federal government that needed checking.

The court noted, it rejected the Biden administration’s use of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (“OSHA”) to mandate 84 million Americans either obtain a Covid-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing. It also discussed its rejection of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s asserted authority to impose a nationwide eviction moratorium to stem the spread of Covid. Recognizing that federal agencies “were asserting highly consequential power beyond what Congress could reasonably be understood to have granted,” it took up the climate change case.

EPA’s massive regulatory scheme to regulate climate change made it easy for the court to formally announce the “Major Question Doctrine.” It held that regulatory agencies can only act on matters of economic and political significance if the agency… point[s] to “clear congressional authority.” Moreover, “Agencies have only those powers given to them by Congress, and ‘enabling legislation’ is generally not an ‘open book’ to which the agency may add pages and change the plot line.”

While the environmental community had some successes in its efforts to impose law by judicial fiat, Executive Order and by regulation, the West Virginia case put all those genies back in the proverbial bottle.

 

The Supreme Court highlights Congress consistently rejecting climate legislation

The court wrote, “Congress, however, has consistently rejected proposals to amend the Clean Air Act to create such a program [regulating climate change].” It cited the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act of 2009, the Climate Protection Act of 2011, and Save our Climate Act of 2011. The Supreme Court was kind to the environmental community. There were many more failed attempts by the environmental community to enact a comprehensive legal structure to address climate change: The Kyoto Protocol (Senate voted 95-0 against ratification), The Paris Agreement (Lacking votes, it was never submitted as a Treaty); McCain-Lieberman, Kerry-Lieberman-Graham, and others that never received a vote. Congress clearly spoke. Unfortunately, the environmental community was, and is likely, still not willing to abide by the outcome of a democratic debate.

The environmental community viewed shopping for judges the same as shopping for shoes, pick the ones you like.

As the environmental community realized Congress would not impose a massive climate change scheme on American society, it orchestrated a well-funded, highly coordinated,  nationwide litigation campaign to persuade courts to impose such a system. It filed lawsuits across the nation under any statute that might relate to climate change – Clean Air Act, (186), Endangered Species and other wildlife statutes (174), National Environmental Protection Act (322), Clean Water Act (58), miscellaneous land use statutes (168), constitutional claims under the Commerce Clause (20), First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments (41); under state laws (464), common law (29), public trust (27) and securities and financial statutes (24).

 

When legislation and lawsuits fail, it is time for the superficial power of Executive Orders

Executive Orders are nothing more than orders of the president to the executive branch of government. The reach of such orders is limited to federal operations. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Since the environmental community failed to persuade Congress and most courts of their righteousness of belief, they needed a “Hail Mary.” On Biden’s first day in office, he issued several Executive Orders to address climate change. He further directed all executive departments to place a moratorium on oil and gas leasing and fabricated a calculation of the Social Cost of Carbon to justify the high cost of climate change regulations.

A week later, Biden ordered a whole-of-government approach to address climate change. The approach resulted in agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission, which regulates the stock market, proposing climate disclosure rules to force all public companies to provide detailed reporting on climate risks and emissions. On related matters, the financial regulators were pressured to deny financing to fossil fuel companies, some of our biggest corporations.

 “God’s timing is always perfect. Trust his delays” Tony Evans

In 2009 EPA was finalizing rules to implement its “Endangerment Finding,” i.e.; greenhouse gases contribute to man-made climate change that may endanger public health and welfare. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, supported by several business organizations, petitioned the agency to rescind its Endangerment Findings for a failure to disclose the data supporting the Endangerment Finding and for lacking statutory authority. It was believed EPA’s data was not peer-reviewed as required under the Information Quality Act (“IQA”) to determine its objectivity and level of its uncertainty. These were reasonable requests considering EPA was seeking to regulate the entire U.S. economy.  EPA summarily denied the petition. Those believing EPA’s data was seriously flawed and in need of cross-examination, recommended that the chamber file suit against EPA.

The environmental community attacked the chamber asserting a trial seeking access to the data was a modern-day “Scopes Monkey trial.” Concurrently, the then leader of the chamber was being pressured not to file the lawsuit. A few chamber members who benefitted from the government’s climate subsidies publicly dropped their membership to protest the mere consideration of a lawsuit. The then Administrator of EPA requested a private, confidential breakfast with the Chamber’s leader. The pressure became too great and the Chamber’s leader declined to file the lawsuit challenging EPA’s Endangerment Findings. That lawsuit was the last opportunity for the opponents of the Endangerment Findings to stop it from going final. Since the suit was not filed, EPA finalized the Endangerment Findings, thereby establishing, the findings as the scientific foundation for climate change without being subject to IQA, cross – examination or the release of all relevant and material data.

While opponents of future regulations could still make administrative law challenges to future proposed climate rules, the scientific foundation (Endangerment Findings) was deemed fact, thereby making such challenges problematic.

EPA had full roaming rights over the regulatory process between 2010 – 2016. The Supreme Court in that time period was liberal in philosophy, supported big government, and a staunchly pro-regulatory court by a 6-3 or 5-4 margin, depending on how the wind was blowing the chief’s hair that day. Had a case questioning the legality of agency regulatory overreach reached that court, it very likely would have ruled that EPA had the power to craft any regulation necessary to control climate change.

What the vanquished could not know during the many years in regulatory hell, was a fortuitous series of events would reverse their fate. A man named Trump would be sworn in as president in 2017. He would be able to appoint three new justices to the court in one term, thereby reversing the court’s judicial philosophy from liberal to conservative. The conservative court was willing to check the administrative state.

The Supreme Court imposes regulatory sanity

With the Endangerment Finding being final, Obama’s EPA finalized its cap-and-trade emissions scheme which it called the Clean Power Plan (“CPP”). EPA’s legal support rested on section 111 of the CAA and its scientific support rested in the Endangerment Findings. Litigation was initiated against the CPP and it continued throughout the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations, with no resolution of the issue.

Shortly after the election of President Trump, his EPA repealed the CPP and put in its place the Affordable Clean Energy rule that limited EPA’s regulatory power to available emission reduction technologies. On Trump’s last day in office the DC Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the Trump rule, however, before President Biden could reinstate a new CPP rule, the Supreme Court accepted the case for review.

What is remarkable about the West Virginia case is with all the procedural wrangling throughout three presidential administrations, the CPP never went into effect due to judicial stays and reversals. With climate change regulation causing regulatory chaos, the conservative Supreme Court realized it must address the scope of agency power to preserve the Constitution. It did so without reviewing the science of climate change as contained in the Endangerment Finding. Rather, by examining how EPA was manipulating the regulatory process to make new law without Congress, the court found a way to address the most significant issue posed by the regulatory state – agencies exercising legislative power without congressional authorization.

While the Supreme Court held that “Congress could not have intended to delegate a decision of such economic and political significance (regulation of climate change) to an agency [EPA] in so cryptic of a fashion,” its decision applies to all agencies that enact major political and economic matters without “clear congressional authority.” Clearly the court was signaling to all federal agencies, e.g.; OSHA and CDC, that they cannot regulate beyond the powers given them by Congress.

Had the environmental community been successful in expanding the authority of agencies to regulate climate change without statutory authorization, many agencies would search for and find “long-extant authorities” to further diminish the role of Congress. By affirming the role of Congress, the Supreme Court clearly reinforces the constitutional separation of powers, a structure in which Congress is the lawmaker, not agencies.

What is so mystifying about the long battle over the power of EPA to regulate climate change is the ironic ending to the struggle. In the end, EPA’s aggressive regulatory overreach resulted in limits being placed on the regulatory powers of all federal agencies.

William L. Kovacs served as senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and led the organization’s successful opposition to the environmental community’s costly climate change legislative proposals from 1998 to 2017. His book, Reform the Kakistocracy, is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change.

This article was initially published in the August 2022 edition of Reality News

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  • A Modest Proposal to Stop Climate Change (a satire)

A Modest Proposal to Stop Climate Change (a satire)

William L. Kovacs

July 2022

By implementing the policies of the radical environmental left, president Joe Biden will become the transformative figure he believes he is. He will be the first prophet in humankind to cause the apocalypse he predicts.  William L. Kovacs

Predictions of apocalyptic events have been made since humankind created the calendar needed for assigning the year in which the apocalypse will occur. Predictions include an antichrist, the elimination of humanity and species, the end of the world, and judgment day. All from false prophets. The prediction of a climate change apocalypse will likely occur but not from an event totally outside of human control or even high levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Rather the apocalypse will be caused by the only entity on earth that can cause an apocalypse. That entity is government and Joe Biden, in biblical terms, is the vessel that will make it happen.

The climate hysterics describe a world that is full of disease, melting sea ice causing extreme worldwide flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, raging forest fires, cities with regular temperatures over 120 degrees, water so acidic as to harm marine life, and starvation over much of the world.

President Biden tells Americans in his usual “tough talk” that climate change is the “number one issue facing humanity.” That the climate crisis poses “the existential threat to human existence as we know it.” He promises “We are going to get rid of fossil fuels,” and the United States will cut its greenhouse gas emissions 50-52% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.

Biden’s policy advisors implement his policies by shutting down oil and gas pipelines, denying investors the capital needed to produce fossil fuels, and regulating almost every manufactured product from cars to light bulbs. They also propose spending trillions more dollars on green energy in a highly inflationary economy so we can live in an environmental nirvana free of climate anxiety.

Unfortunately, to meet his policy of a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 Biden still needs to reduce emissions by 15 gigatons of CO2 equivalent. Worse, “U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rose by 6.2% last year (2021) compared with 2020.” Moreover, even with gas at $5 a gallon, consumption is close to its pre-pandemic highs.

Moreover, whatever the government mandates, the wealthy will continue to use private jets, and live in massive estates, and even estates on the beach where flooding is likely. They have all the food, water, transportation, housing, high-value goods, and servants they could ever need for many lifetimes. It is the average person that suffers from the government’s actions to address climate change. They suffer inflation, high energy prices, and a lower standard of living.

Even if Biden were the son of Obama, there is nothing reasonable he can do to tame the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. That was all attempted by the prior “god.” The radical environmental groups want Biden to take Congress behind the proverbial gym and beat the hell out of it like he promised to do to Trump. Biden likely believes he can take Congress behind the gym. After all, he shakes hands with invisible persons, believes the U.S. has the fastest growing economy in the world and has the Easter bunny rescuing him from pontificating about his delusions in public.

President Biden, your term as president is not over, however, you have very little support among ordinary people who must work every day for a living. Your best hope of being a transformative president is to do whatever the radical left believes is needed to eliminate fossil fuels. Unfortunately, the Left views your presidency as a series of half measures, perhaps only quarter measures. Scranton Joe, you can prove them wrong.

Keep up hope, a delusional mind can find reality in strange ways.

A few days ago, I found an embargoed copy of the Left’s Manifesto on Climate Change. The Left intends to give it to Kamala Harris after it forces you to resign. You have done so much for the radical Left; it is unfair to deprive you of the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. So, I am giving you this draft. Since you are very good at taking credit for the work of others, I suggest you get a pen, a lot of ink and the largest roll of two-ply toilet paper you can find. Then, start writing an Executive Order that promises to achieve all of the Left’s dreams.

Joe Biden quickly scribbles:

I, Joe Biden, President of the U.S. do hereby order that all my cabinet Secretary Office Boys, girls, LGBTQIA+ and every person, of every gender, subject to my rule, (illegals are free of all restrictions), and especially the wealthy ones, obey the following commands:

  1. All private plane travel is hereby prohibited since rich people ravage the planet and this order is an excuse to permanently live at my beach house.
  2. All limousine travel is prohibited, except for elected Democrats at the federal, state or local level.
  3. All limousines are prohibited from carrying the Buttigieg bicycle and dropping it off a few blocks from his office so he looks like he commutes by bike. (In a bracketed note Biden writes, “Let Buttigieg walk.”)
  4. All new houses and apartments must be under 2000 square feet.
  5. All existing houses over 2000 square feet must be converted to shared living quarters with illegal immigrants having living priority over anyone, including the owner. This provision shall not apply to Democrats willing to exhibit hypocrisy in public and be criticized by conservative media. Demonstrated hypocrisy reveals leadership.
  6. All office buildings must remove elevators since walking stairs is healthy.
  7. Buildings will be warmed by body heat in the winter and cooled by paper fans in the summer for as long as there is paper.
  8. All 6000 products made from oil and gas are hereby banned.

 Biden’s staff attaches a partial list of just 144 of the 6000 items so the public has some idea of what illegal items are made from oil or gas. Keep in mind that 42 – a gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over half) is used to make the following unneeded products that citizens may not realize are destroying the planet:

 

Adhesives, Air mattresses, Ammonia, Antifreeze, Antihistamines, Antiseptics, Artificial limbs, Artificial turf, Asphalt, Aspirin, Awnings, Backpacks, Balloons, Ballpoint pens, Bandages, Beach umbrellas, Boats, Cameras, Candies and gum, Candles, Car battery cases, Car enamel, Cassettes, Caulking, CDs/computer disks, Cell phones, Clothes, Clothesline, Clothing, Coffee makers, Cold cream, Combs, Computer keyboards, Computer monitors, Cortisone, Crayons, Credit cards, Curtains, Dashboards, Denture adhesives, Dentures, Deodorant, Detergent, Dice, Dishwashing liquid, Dog collars, Drinking cups, Dyes, Electric blankets, Electrical tape, Enamel, Epoxy paint, Eyeglasses, Fan belts, Faucet washers, Fertilizers, Fishing boots, Fishing lures, Floor wax, Food preservatives, Footballs, Fuel tanks, Glue, Glycerin, Golf bags, Golf balls, Guitar strings, Hair coloring, Hair curlers, Hand lotion, Hearing aids, Heart valves, House paint, Hula hoops, Ice buckets, Ice chests, Ice cube trays, Ink, Insect repellent, Insecticides, Insulation, iPad/iPhone, Kayaks, Laptops, Life jackets, Light-weight aircraft, Lipstick, Loudspeakers, Lubricants, Luggage, Model cars, Mops, Motorcycle helmets, Movie film, Nail polish, Noise insulation, Nylon rope, Oil filters, Packaging, Paint brushes, Paint roller, Pajamas, Panty hose, Parachutes, Perfumes, Permanent press, Petroleum jelly, Pharmaceuticals, Pillow filling, Plastic toys, Plastics, Plywood adhesive, Propane, Purses, Putty, Refrigerants, Refrigerator linings, Roller skate wheels, Roofing, Rubber cement, Rubbing alcohol, Safety glasses, Shampoo, Shaving cream, Shoe polish, Shoes/sandals, Shower curtains, Skateboards, Skis Soap dishes, Soft contact lenses, Solar panels, Solvents, Spacesuits, Sports car bodies, Sunglasses, Surf boards, Swimming pools Synthetic rubber Telephones Tennis rackets Tents Tires Tool boxes Tool racks, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Transparent tape, Trash bags, Truck and automobile parts, Tubing, TV cabinets, Umbrellas, Unbreakable dishes, Upholstery, Vaporizers, Vinyl flooring, Vitamin capsules, Water pipes, Wind turbine blades, Yarn. Top of Form

Pretty much everything produced by man includes or requires petroleum products. By banning the production of oil and gas and the products made from it, the Biden administration will clearly achieve the Left’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030 compared with 2005 levels.

President Biden, banning all oil and gas production will make you the most Transformative President in U.S. history. You will achieve every goal of the radical Left.  With the banning of these 6000 products and items, there will be little work for the masses. This will allow you to print more and more money and distribute it quickly since you only need electrons. Please, however, use the electrons quickly since the grid is likely to go down.

The Left’s economists that preach Modern Monetary Theory will praise you on every street corner since there will no longer be television interviews due to the ban on the materials needed to produce the sets. Unfortunately, since there will be almost nothing to purchase, putting money in bank accounts will be a “futile and stupid gesture.”

After a while there will be massive food shortages and a great loss of life, that is the goal of the radical environmental movement. One of its great thinkers, Jacque Yves-Cousteau, stated – “It’s terrible to have to say this. The world population must be stabilized and to do that we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. This is so horrible to contemplate that we shouldn’t even say it. But the general situation in which we are involved is lamentable.”

Finally, without Americans having access to industrial production, energy, and food, China will be the world superpower since it will not follow the U.S.’s lead on meeting climate goals. Ignore the grim news however, this is a fabulous opportunity for your son, Hunter. He will likely receive a very large bonus from the Chinese for giving you sound advice on transforming the U.S. By taking Hunter’s advice, Mr. President, you will be in all the history books as the most transformative ruler in the history of the world. You will exceed Nero; it took him fourteen years to collapse the Roman Empire. You will collapse the U.S. in four, a remarkable record, one worthy of a Nobel Prize.

Bye, Bye American Pie, there is nothing more to divide!

 

William L. Kovacs is the author of Reform the Kakistocracy, the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. He also authored The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic, a collection of apocalyptic quotes from environmentalists. Mr. Kovacs has served as senior vice-president for the US Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law DC law firms.

 

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Climate Change is About Control Stupid, Not the Environment

William L. Kovacs

March 2022

Climate Change is About Control Stupid, Not the Environment

The apocalyptic talk about climate change is nothing more than a diversion tactic by the government, the radical Left, and its mainstream press. The many laws, trillions in federal appropriations and tax credits, and the unworkable proposals to address climate change will not slow the rise of the oceans or heal the planet. Lobbying for more climate regulation is to enhance the power of the authoritarian state, not protect the environment.

The radical Left has the world obsessing over whether we have 10, 20, or 50 years before the eve of destruction. The hysteria gives the government the excuse it needs for more controls over the energy we use, the products we purchase, the homes we live in, the food we eat, and since the pandemic when we can leave our homes. However, the data supporting the climate studies are rarely released so scientists can test the reproducibility of the studies.

Citizens of the United States already live under a legal framework that contains over 3000 separate criminal offenses in 50 titles of the U.S. Code, 23,000 pages of federal law, over 200,000 regulations, and almost daily Executive Orders that usually limit those actions deemed objectionable to the kakistocracy. Additionally, the government has in reserve 136 emergency laws allowing it to assume control over industrial production, communications and banking, and most aspects of commerce. Most of these emergency laws are effective when the president declares them effective.

“Predictions of apocalyptic events that would result in the extinction of humanity, a collapse of civilization, or the destruction of the planet have been made since at least the beginning of the Common Era. So far, the planet still exists. George Orwell noted – “People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their wishes, and the grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”

In the case of climate change, those who foresee the future believe that capitalism is a cancer on the earth, humans must go, truth is irrelevant. The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic captures the many statements by the Left espousing these goals. One of its leaders, Prince Phillip, calmly states, “If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.” Perhaps Covid-19 gave him his wish?

The thumbprint of the radical Left is everywhere. In one year, the Biden administration used executive power to shut down the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska, the Keystone Pipeline, and the EastMed natural gas pipeline that would supply gas to Europe. Without energy, the world crumbles, but that is a tactic the radical Left uses to achieve its agenda.

By shutting down U.S. energy supplies, Biden harms the security and economy of the U.S. The U.S. is forced to rely on terrorist states (Russia, Saudi Arabia, and now Iran and Venezuela), to produce dirty fuels so that we can chug along. Unless there is an ulterior motive, no sane world leader would ever put his nation at the mercy of terrorists.

The radical Left plays the federal regulatory system like a grandmaster pianist. With Citizen Suit provisions incorporated in all environmental laws, the Left routinely blocks industries needing federal permits.

Wielding the power of the citizen suit provisions, the radical Left uses the Clean Water Act to regulate farming and home building since water flows over the land. The Left uses the Clean Air Act to deny permits to almost any activity having air emissions, which includes manufacturing, energy production, and transportation. The National Environmental Protection Act is used to stall permits for years, sometimes decades, merely by alleging a thousand-page environmental impact statement is not sufficiently robust.

In addition to impeding economic development, the radical Left forces government to regulate almost every item in the home, including dishwashers, washing machines, showerheads, toilets, ceiling fans, light bulbs, heating and air conditioning units, stoves, ovens, refrigerators, and conventional cooking products. Seventy-four regulatory standards cover these products. Another 15,000 products, from coffee pots to ink cartridges, are regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Now the radical Left wants to ban many common foods, including sugar, chocolate, coffee, meat, palm oil, soybeans, mineral water, plastic bottles, fish, especially salmon, rice and cereal, and any fruits and vegetables that require water.

Another radical Left group identifies the top 10 foods that harm the climate: lamb, beef pork, chicken, turkey, salmon, canned tuna, cheese, eggs, and potatoes.

But for plastic packaging that preserves our food, the radical Left has 25 reasons for banning it. They also want to ban soda straws – but say nothing about billions of pounds of plastic and polysilicon solar panels embedded with toxic metals.

Now the radical Left is demanding the Federal Reserve break up banks if they make loans or investments in operations that harm the earth.

These restrictions rest on a political narrative that our way of life will result in an apocalypse. The apocalypse narrative disguises the government’s real agenda – a more authoritarian government.

It’s all about authoritarian control, stupid!

The only appropriate summation of this article is to quote David Forman, a radical Left environmental movement founder. Forman states, “Phasing out the human race will solve every problem on earth, social and environmental.”

Based on the hypocritical actions of many of the Left’s leaders, like Gavin Newsom, Gretchen Whitmer, Lori Lightfoot, AOC, Nancy Pelosi, Stacy Abrams, and hundreds of others, it should be assumed they would be exempt from Forman’s phase-out.

William L. Kovacs has served as senior vice-president for the US Chamber of Commerce, chief counsel to a congressional committee, and a partner in law DC law firms. His book Reform the Kakistocracy is the winner of the 2021 Independent Press Award for Political/Social Change. His second book, The Left’s Little Red Book on Forming a New Green Republic, quotes the Left on how it intends to control society by eliminating capitalism, people, and truth.

 

This article was initially published in Townhall, March 22, 2022.